For the 2017-18 academic year Augusto Lopez-Claros is on leave from the World Bank as a Senior Fellow at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. From 2011 to 2017 he was the Director of the Global Indicators Group in DEC, the unit leading the Bank’s research and analytical work. The Indicators Group is the department responsible for the Bank’s Doing Business report and other international benchmarking studies such as Enabling the Business of Agriculture and Women, Business and the Law. Earlier in his career he was the Chief Economist and Director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. In this capacity he traveled widely and engaged with senior policymakers in government and the business community on the policy and institutional requirements associated with improvements in the business environment. For many years he was the editor of the Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.
He has a degree in mathematical statistics from Cambridge University, England, and a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University in the United States. Before joining the Forum in 2003 he was Executive Director and Senior International Economist with Lehman Brothers International in London. During his 5-year stay with Lehman he wrote extensively on a broad range of economic and financial topics. As part of this research work and to meet with Lehman clients he traveled extensively in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Asia. He is a frequent commentator on economic and financial issues, having given well over 150 TV interviews during the past decade on all the major networks. Before Lehman he worked as an economist with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, an organization he joined in the mid-1980s.
During his years of service at the Fund his assignments included being country economist for Spain; working in the Fund’s main policy making department, where he begun to work on Eastern Europe and did some of the early work at the Fund on good governance. From 1992 to 1995 he was Resident Representative for the IMF in the Russian Federation, where he was responsible for program implementation issues in the context of the IMF’s multibillion dollar program of assistance to the Russian Federation. His stay in Russia was followed by a one-year sabbatical in Moscow, an opportunity he used to do research (subsequently published by the IMF) and to travel extensively throughout Russia to gain a broader perspective on the transition. Prior to his service with the IMF, he was Professor of Economics at the University of Chile, Santiago, where, in addition to his teaching duties, he also headed a research team financed by the Ministry of Health examining economic aspects of alcohol abuse in Chile.
Dr. Lopez-Claros has written and lectured extensively on a wide range of topics in his field, including European economic integration, the determinants of competitiveness, reform issues in transition economies, the European Monetary System, and on a broad range of financial and macroeconomic issues affecting emerging markets. He is a much sought-after international speaker, having lectured in the last several years at: the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow; the Writers’ Union in Sofia, Bulgaria; the Oxford Business School; Darwin and Corpus Christi Colleges at Cambridge University; the RAND Business School in California; the European Central Bank in Frankfurt; the Bank of Spain; the Central Banks of Chile, Bolivia, and Paraguay; Imperial College in London; the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London; the Friends’ Meeting House in Canterbury; the Shakespeare Library in Moscow; the India Economic Summits in New Delhi; the China Business Summits in Beijing; the Arab Economic Summits in Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt; the Latin American Business Summit in Sao Paulo; Marlborough House in London; the New York Stock Exchange; the Aspen Institute in Washington DC; the Australian Leadership Retreat; the International Leadership Forum in Kuala Lumpur; the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos; Microsoft’s 2007 Government Leaders Forum for Europe in Edinburgh and the Americas in Cartagena, Miami, Washington DC, and Mexico City over the period 2007-2010; the European Business School; The Economist’s Emerging Markets Summit; the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford; Stanford University; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Harvard University; the Ecole Normale Superieure; the Graduate Institute in Geneva, the European Parliament; the OECD; the EBRD; the World Trade Organization; the Confederation of Danish Industry; the Law Society of London; the House of Lords; the International Bar Association; the Interparliamentary Union; the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences; the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum; as well as keynote presentations for Microsoft in the United States, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, among many others.